Celebrating the Stars and Stripes
Deauville Gardens East Elementary School second-grade students helped kindergartners create an American flag in honor of Flag Day
To celebrate Flag Day on June 14, second-grade students in Ashley Marrazzo’s class at Deauville Gardens East Elementary School in the Copiague School District visited kindergartners in Natalia Brite’s class to sing patriotic songs and complete a holiday craft.
Leading up to the day, students in their respective classes learned about the importance of the holiday and what the stars and stripes on the flag represent. In the holiday spirit, students arrived to school dressed in red, white and blue.
Working in pairs, second-graders helped the kindergartners create an American flag using construction paper, scissors, glue and a white crayon to draw the stars. In union, the students sang songs including “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and “God Bless the U.S.A.” while they proudly waved their American flags in the air. Three second-graders made their way to the front of the classroom where they explained why they are proud to be an American.
To conclude the activity, the second-graders and kindergartners enjoyed interacting with one another while eating a special snack.
Great Neck Road Elementary School kindergarten students enjoyed drawing with chalk during their picnic party.
Throughout the month of June, Great Neck Road Elementary School in the Copiague Public School District hosted end-of-the-year picnic celebrations for students in kindergarten through fifth grade.
While enjoying the sunny weather, students and their families participated in various outdoor activities including hopscotch, hula hoop, bubbles and drawing with chalk. Faculty members distributed watermelon slices and juice boxes for the students to enjoy.
Suffolk County’s Class of 2016 Valedictorians Honored
Suffolk County’s valedictorians posed for a group photo during the 22nd annual Suffolk County School Superintendents Association Valedictorian Luncheon.
Josephine Pucci, the keynote speaker for the Suffolk County School Superintendents Association Valedictorian Luncheon, spoke about her experiences as captain of Harvard University women’s hockey team, as well as her health challenges during training as the 2011 Team USA World Champion and a 2014 Olympic silver medalist
Suffolk County’s highest achieving students from the Class of 2016 were acknowledged and honored by school superintendents, administrators and parents during the Suffolk County School Superintendents Association’s 22nd annual Valedictorian Luncheon, held at the Hyatt Regency Wind Watch Hotel in Hauppauge on June 2.
The celebratory event was punctuated with music provided by Middle Country School District’s Centereach High School Jazz Ensemble, under the baton of Lee Schaarschmidt.
Congratulating the students on their hard work and academic achievements were Susan Schnebel, SCSSA president and Islip School District superintendent of schools; Lars Clemensen, SCSSA vice president and Hampton Bays School District superintendent of schools; Ken Bossert, SCSSA secretary and Port Jefferson School District superintendent of schools; and Dr. Charles T. Russo, SCSSA president-elect and East Moriches School District superintendent of schools.
During her keynote address, 2014 Olympic silver medalist, 2011 Team USA World Champion and former Harvard University women’s hockey team captain Josephine Pucci suggested that the valedictorians adopt a “growth mindset” that thrives on challenges and sees failure as a springboard for growth.
“In order to grow, failures are bound to happen,” Pucci said. “If they don’t happen, it means that you aren’t pushing yourself hard enough.”
Each valedictorian was called to the stage to receive a certificate and gift of recognition. During their acknowledgment, the universities they plan on attending were announced, along with their intended majors. The impressive and prestigious list of schools included Princeton University, Stanford University, Cornell University, Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Tulane University and Vassar College. The SCSSA and its corporate partners also awarded 12 scholarships to graduates planning to pursue a career in education or social services.
This was the only event in which the Class of 2016 valedictorians were honored together, and it was a truly memorable occasion for all in attendance.
Copiague School District Welcome Two New Administrators
At its special business meeting on May 9, the Copiague School District Board of Education appointed James McCabe as the coordinator of guidance and appointed Kelly Urraro to the position of director of technology. McCabe and Urraro will respectively assume their duties on July 1, 2016.
McCabe brings to his new role a wealth of knowledge and experience in administrative leadership and school counseling. He began his education at Marist College where he received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, followed by a Master of Education in school counseling from Hofstra University. He furthered his education at Long Island University where he earned his Advanced Graduate Certificate in school building leadership and school district leadership.
In his previous work experiences, he served in the roles of assistant dean of admissions and senior assistant dean of admissions at Hofstra University and was a guidance counselor at Sachem East High School. He also worked in the positions of administrative dean and assistant principal at the Western Suffolk BOCES Summer School. In 2008, he assumed the role of guidance counselor at Harborfields High School and then became the guidance coordinator.
“I am thrilled to be joining the Copiague School District as the coordinator of guidance,” said McCabe. “Copiague has a tradition of excellence, and I look forward to working with our talented group of counselors. Together, we will continue to assist all students and families as they strive to achieve their goals.”
Urraro received a Bachelor of Science in technology education and a Master of Science in educational technology specialist from the New York Institute of Technology. Furthering her education, she earned her school building leader initial certificate and school district leader professional certificate from Dowling College. Urraro previously worked in the Lindenhurst School District where she served in the capacity of technology teacher for four years and director of technology for three years.
“I am very excited to start this new chapter in my life, and work closely with the staff and students of Copiague School District on technology integration,” said Urraro. “I hope to bring about a positive experience for all utilizing new and old technology skills in the classroom. My goal is to build and support consistency using technology across the district to ensure our students are graduating our high school with the technology skills needed to be successful in life, and in their future endeavors.”
Copiague Wrestlers Participate in ARMYWCAP
Members of the Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School wrestling program participated in a wrestling clinic led by national female wrestling champions Whitney Conder and Sharon Jacobson from the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program. The two wrestling champions demonstrated valuable techniques and strategies to help the student-athletes hone their skills.
A Key Reminder
Members of the Great Neck Road Elementary School SADD Club created key chains that convey a message about making good choices when driving.
While students in the Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School Class of 2016 prepared for the upcoming prom and graduation events, members of the Great Neck Road Elementary School Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) Club created special key chains for the seniors to serve as a reminder for them to make good choices when driving.
During their meeting on April 7, club members used markers, colored pencils and stickers to decorate key chains that had a symbol of a “stop hand.” On the key chains, they wrote messages to discourage high school students from texting and driving and drinking and driving. Once the key chains were laminated, they were attached to a letter from the club, advising the recipient to be safe, make good choices and know that they are viewed as a role model.
Coordinated by SADD Club advisers Lissette Persico and Adrienne Mahoney as well as members of the prom committee, high school students will receive a letter and keychain when they purchase their ticket for prom. Some club members will have the opportunity to hand-deliver their key chains to an older sibling or family member who attends the high school.
Baskets Towards Better Health
Copiague Middle School students participated in the school’s Hoops for Heart fundraiser event with all proceeds going to the American Heart Association.
Copiague Middle School students demonstrated their commitment toward leading a heart-healthy lifestyle when they participated in the school’s annual “Hoops for Heart” event.
Hoops for Heart is a national fundraising program sponsored jointly by the Society of Health and Physical Educators of America and the American Heart Association. Through the program, students raise funds for the AHA while participating in activities that promote physical fitness.
During their physical education classes, students hit the courts to practice their dribbling and shooting skills as well as completed a basketball-themed obstacle course. To signify their participation, they wrote their name on a dog sticker and placed it on the bulletin board titled “The Heart Healthy Pack.” The goal of the event was to increase awareness about heart disease and related illnesses, as well as raise money for research, prevention and education programs.
Through their collective efforts, the students raised nearly $5,000 for the American Heart Association.
As reported yesterday by copiaguenews.com a 23 foot Great White shark was caught and is being held at Copiague’s Tanner Park. www.copiaguenews.com was the only media company there and now there are various media outlets claiming the “exclusive”. For the LATEST updates please register at www.copiaguenews.com. It is FREE and takes 15 seconds. Thanks and we’ll see you inside.
23 Foot Great White Shark Captured in Copiague NY.
Copiague, NY. A 23 foot Great White shark was captured today in Copiague, NY. Town of Babylon Marine Enforcement, The US Coast Guard, 4 local Fire Departments and the Suffolk County Police Department successfully captured the beast and is now holding it captive at Tanner Park which is located on the South Shore of Long Island on the Great South Bay. As depicted in the bestselling novel Jaws by Peter Benchley and the subsequent blockbuster film by Steven Spielberg Great White sharks are man eaters responsible for the largest number of reported and identified fatal unprovoked shark attacks on humans. Marine biologist Anthony Rienkowsi believes that the animal entered the bay from the breach on Fire Island left by super-storm Sandy. Rienkowsi also claims that there is no logic to the animal being in this location especially with such cold water temperatures. The Shark nicknamed “Trump” by the locals will be held at the town beach until members of the Riverhead and NY Aquarium decide how, when and where they will safely re-locate it.
During the Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School annual winter sports awards dinner, senior and captain of the girls’ varsity basketball team Mikaiya Moore was presented with an award basketball for scoring her 1,500-point basket during a competitive game against Sachem East in February.
Bellone Announces Catholic Health Services as Medal of Honor Title Sponsor of 2nd Annual Suffolk County Marathon and Freedom Fest Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced that Catholic Health Services (CHS) has been named as a Medal of Honor title sponsor for the 2nd Annual Suffolk County Marathon and Freedom Fest which will take place on Sunday, October 30, 2016. The announcement was made at the Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip.
“I am proud that Catholic Health Services has joined us once again in our efforts to enhance local veteran services and programs throughout Suffolk County by becoming the title sponsor of this year’s marathon, half marathon and newly created 5k race.” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “We thank CHS for their continuous commitment to our local veterans as they played an integral role in last year’s event, which drew more than 3,500 runners. With their support, we expect those numbers to grow this year.”
“As the largest faith-based health system on Long Island, Catholic Health Services was honored to serve as race medicine provider for the inaugural Suffolk County Marathon last year,” said Alan D. Guerci, MD, President and CEO of Catholic Health Services. “Last year, CHS’ medical team included nearly 100 health professionals who ensured the well-being of more than 3,500 marathon participants. This year, we expect the event to be even larger and we are enthusiastically looking forward to our expanded role as both title sponsor and medical care provider.”
“Hunter EMS Ambulance is currently designing the EMS plan for the 2016 race, modeled after the successful strategic layout from the Inaugural Marathon,” said Dan Leibowitz, president of Hunter EMS Ambulance. “The joint efforts from the volunteer ambulance and fire departments along with the many police agencies, Catholic Health Services, Progressive Emergency Physicians and Hunter EMS proved that Suffolk County has the ability to utilize all of its resources to plan and be prepared for large scale events. We look forward working side-by-side with the CHS staff and having an opportunity to celebrate the appreciation that we all have for the Veterans of Long Island.”
As a title sponsor, Catholic Health Services will be included on all race related materials and featured in the Finish Line Festival area, and have their logo included on the start/finish race banners, mile markers, and on the front of all participant and volunteer t-shirts.
For the second consecutive year, Catholic Health Services will also be the official medical sponsor of the event and provide medical support to hundreds of runners last year, including medical tent services and field hospital operations.
“As a runner and the president of a large running organization, I know that the key to the success of any race is to make sure the race participants finish the race safely. With CHS on board, we can be sure of that,” said Mike Polansky, president of the Greater Long Island Running Club.
“The marathon is important to me as a veteran because all of the proceeds from the marathon go to assist veteran service organizations right here in Suffolk County,” stated Patrick Donohue, president of Project 9Line. “This county is great to its veterans, and Catholic Health Services’ assistance is another example of that. The money that was raised last year is going to go a long way to help a lot of different veteran organizations. I want to thank Catholic Health Services, County Executive Bellone and the county as a whole for being the best place to be a veteran in the United States.”
The Inaugural Suffolk County Marathon and Half Marathon raised more than $160,000 for local veteran services. County Executive Bellone also announced that 19 local not-for-profit and service organizations have been selected by the Suffolk County Marathon Fund Disbursement Advisory Committee to receive funding designated for veteran services raised from last year’s inaugural event. Pending legislative approval, organizations will receive notification of their awards on Tuesday, March 22, The grants awarded will range in funding amounts from $2,000 to $23,600.
The Suffolk County Marathon Fund Disbursement Advisory Committee received nearly 50 applications and reviewed each grant application and ranked them based on a certain criteria, such as establishing a set of priorities and developing a list of objectives for veteran needs and services.
The Copiague Board of Education, members of the Knights of Columbus, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Bannon, Coordinator of Fine Arts Jennifer Pierre-Louis, art teachers Maria Ostrofsky and Travis White and Knights of Columbus Substance Abuse Art Poster Contest winners.
During the Feb. 29 Copiague Board of Education meeting, students Brianna Donovan, Gim Gousse, Madison Sims and Deashia Swan were recognized by the board for their winning entries in the annual Knights of Columbus Substance Abuse Art Poster Contest. Additionally, Kevin Rodriguez was honored for receiving honorable mention in the contest.
In front of family and friends, former Grand Knight Bob Waidler and Grand Knight Michael Pagano from the Our Lady of the Assumption Council of the Knights of Columbus presented each student with an award certificate of participation and a gift certificate provided by the Knights. On hand to congratulate the students were Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Bannon, board members, Coordinator of Fine Arts Jennifer Pierre-Louis and art teachers Maria Ostrofsky and Travis White.
The students’ artwork will now move on to the state-level competition.
A Penny Saved is a Penny Raised
Copiague Students Raise $700 for Local Charity
(From left) Copiague Middle School Assistant Principal Michael Ferretti; Renee Scott, founder and CEO of Stepping Stone Support; NJHS members Ladrea Buffaloe, Nicole Hernandez and Jonathan Angel; Principal Andrew Lagnado; NJHS president Kenia Rodriguez and NJHS advisers Paul Harvey and Francesca Walker.
In an effort to raise money for a local charity while engaging in friendly competition within their school community, members of the National Junior Honor Society hosted a grade-level “Penny Wars” contest.
For an entire week, members of the NJHS collected penny donations from students during their lunch period. The final tally revealed that the sixth-graders contributed the most coins and were deemed the Penny Wars winners. Through their collective efforts, the school raised and donated $700 for Stepping Stone Support, a local organization that provides assistance to families affected by cancer and infertility.
“It was a fun, quick, easy way for the students to get involved in a great fundraiser,” said NJHS adviser Francesca Walker.
The NJHS student executive board and advisers presented Renee Scott, CEO and founder of the Stepping Stone Support, with their monetary donation on March 10.
“I am extremely grateful to the members of the Copiague Middle School National Junior Honor Society,” said Scott. “We are thankful that the funds that they raised will go to help local families affected by cancer during the holiday season. I am proud to call them ‘Survivors’ Little Helpers.’”
A Team of Esteemed Students
In an effort to create a better school community, students in the Esteem Team Club at Copiague Middle School, under the advisement of Maria Ostrofsky and Kristen Havdoglous, work together to address anti-bullying and respect issues in their school. With their motto, “Expect Respect,” members participate in various character-building activities to help promote respect among students.
Copiague Schools to Hold Late Kindergarten Registration
Late kindergarten registration for the Copiague Union Free School District will be held at the District Administrative Office located in Copiague Middle School on Great Neck Road from April 26-29, from 8:30-11:30 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.
Children who have turned age 5 on or before Dec. 1, 2016 are eligible to attend school in September 2016. Registration requirements include proof of the child’s age, residence within the boundaries of the Copiague School District and immunizations against polio, measles, rubella (German measles), mumps, diphtheria and hepatitis B. Additional information on immunizations should be requested from the child’s physician. A law enacted in 2008 expands a physical to include a dental health screening.
For registration information, call 631-842-4015, ext. 538. Those who do not plan to register their children at this time should also call school officials to assist in the district’s planning.
NIÑOS QUE CUMPLEN 5 AÑOS DE EDAD ANTES DEL PRIMERO DE DICIEMBRE DEL 2016 DEBEN MATRICULARSE PARA KINDERGARTEN EN LA OFICINA ADMINISTRATIVA CENTRAL LOCALIZADA EN EL 2650 GREAT NECK ROAD EN COPIAGUE COMENZANDO EL 26 al 29 DE ABRIL, 2016 POR FAVOR DE LLAMAR AL (631) 842-4015 X 532 PARA HACER UNA CITA.
Copiague Board Members “Go to School”
Board President Brian J. Sales, trustee Peter Robinson and Assistant Superintendent for Student Services Karen Sheridan observed a second-grade class at Deauville Gardens East Elementary School.
Every few years, members of the Copiague Board of Education spend a day traveling through the district, visiting select classrooms to observe students engaged in lessons and activities, during a special Board Day at School.
To begin, board members and administrators observed student arrival procedures at Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School and Copiague Middle School. During the course of the school day, they spent approximately 20 minutes immersed in classroom activities with students in grades K-12.
While at the high school, Board President Brian J. Sales and trustee Peter Robinson, along with Assistant Superintendent for Student Services Karen Sheridan, visited earth science, AP literature and English honors classes. As a unit, they traveled to the remaining five schools to observe a myriad of classroom lessons.
Following their stop at the high school, Vice President Laura Gavey and trustee Michael L. Greb, accompanied by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Bannon, visited various classes and specials, including physical education and technology, at Deauville Gardens East, Deauville Gardens West, Great Neck Road, Susan E. Wiley and Copiague Middle School.
During their last few classroom visits, board members, who traveled with Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Jeanette Altruda, witnessed a science lesson and ELA readers’ theater presentation.
Board trustee Rosemary Natoli enjoyed watching third-grade students at Susan E. Wiley Elementary School perform a readers’ theater skit.
A “Key” Role
Key Club: Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School sophomore Messiah Reid became the first Copiague Key Club member to be elected Division 2 Lieutenant Governor. He is pictured with his adviser JoAnn Erwin.
Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School sophomore Messiah Reid recently made school history by becoming the first Copiague Key Club member to be elected Division 2 Lieutenant Governor. In addition to his duties with Copiague’s Key Club, which is the largest in New York State with 158 paid members, he will be in charge of six Suffolk County clubs. Messiah, along with his adviser JoAnn Erwin, will attend the Kiwanis Leadership Training Conference in Albany the weekend of March 18 to receive training in preparation for his new role. The Copiague School District extends its congratulations to Messiah.
Celebrating a Strong Community Connection in Copiague
Copiague Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Bannon (far right) and Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School Principal Joseph Agosta (far left) introduced members of the Class of 2016 top 10.
Continuing their tradition of hosting local community members and politicians for a Saturday morning breakfast and state of the schools, the Copiague School District Board of Education and administration held their annual Community Summit, “Our School, Our Community: A Strong Connection,” on March 5.
“The summit is an opportunity for us to celebrate the success we’ve had, discuss some of the issues we face in the upcoming budget and collaborate on ways we can make things better,” said Board of Education President Brian J. Sales.
During his speech, Sales focused on educational funding and thanked New York State Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre and New York State Sen. Michael Venditto for their efforts in supporting Copiague, including the additional funds they’ve secured for district students and programs. He also discussed the various ways in which the board is connecting with Copiague’s students, including attending Board Day at school and hosting high school students in roundtable discussions.
Overseeing her first summit as superintendent of schools, Dr. Kathleen Bannon focused her “State of the District” address on the multitude of positive academic, athletic and technological accomplishments happening within the walls of Copiague. “I have stood up on opening day and said my philosophy, and everyone’s philosophy here, is ‘if it’s good for kids, it’s good.’ We are very proud that we are focused and moving in that direction.”
Dr. Bannon also discussed the district’s financial future, as well as the need for an increase in state funding in order to maintain its current educational programs. “What we need is an increase in state aid, which can be accomplished by unfreezing the Foundation Aid formula,” she said.
The summit also featured student musical performances, spotlights on elementary, middle and high school clubs and an introduction of the Class of 2016 top 10 students. To conclude the morning program, attendees participated in a school community input activity to elicit feedback on ways the district can best promote its programs to the community.
In addition to Assemblywoman Jean-Pierre and Sen. Venditto, legislators in attendance at the summit included Town of Babylon Supervisor Richard Schaffer, Deputy Supervisor Tony Martinez and Councilman Thomas Donnelly and Presiding Officer of the Suffolk County Legislature DuWayne Gregory.
The Copiague School District hosted its annual Community Summit for community members and local politicians. Pictured from left: Town of Babylon Supervisor Richard Schaffer, Officer of the Suffolk County Legislature DuWayne Gregory, New York State Sen. Michael Venditto, Copiague Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Bannon, Town of Babylon Councilman Thomas Donnelly, and Town of Babylon Deputy Supervisor Tony Martinez.
Members of the Deauville Gardens West Elementary School student council showcased their club activities during the Copiague School District’s annual Community Summit.
Copiague Theater Students Take the Stage
Congratulations to the talented Walter G. O’Connell Copiague High School cast and crew on their sensational performance of “Young Frankenstein,” performed on March 3-5.
Based on the 1974 comedy film “Young Frankenstein,” the musical was created by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan, with music and lyrics by Brooks. As a parody of the horror film genre, the play follows the story of Frederick Frankenstein, pronounced “Fronkensteen,” after he inherits a castle in Transylvania containing characters Igor, Inga and Frau Blucher. Upon discovering the secret entrance to his grandfather’s laboratory, Frederick decides to carry on the family experiments and creates a monster of his own.
“Every year we are just blown away with the talent we have here in Copiague and this year was no exception,” said musical director Gina Occhigrosso. “We are so proud of the way our students dedicated their energy and passion to making this year’s performance come together and kept us laughing all the way.”